"No! I never get tired of coming here!"
Someone had asked our tour guide, Tom, if he ever grew tired of taking people (like us) through Muir Woods. He opened his arms wide and said, "What do you think? Look around. Would you get tired of coming here?"
We were all in agreement. We couldn't imagine ever growing tired of this place.
As we walked deeper into the woods, my entire body grew numb from the damp cold and I found myself barely able to talk. But I didn't care - I was in heaven. Tom reached up into an unidentifiable tree and tore off a leaf, asking us to smell it. I couldn't place it, but it smelled amazing - like eucalyptus and lavender.
Bay leaf, he revealed. Aha!
Farther ahead, he pointed out Miner's lettuce, Fiddlehead ferns, banana slugs munching on mushrooms and Redwoods so tall that the morning light came through only in patches.
Patches we tried to linger in to get warm. But Tom had other ideas. He encouraged us to keep moving, staying ahead of the crowds that were quickly encroaching on our little bit of silence.
Not that we could avoid the crowds forever. It's a popular place (who could blame them?).
But it was nice to have the woods to ourselves, for just a little while.